CHARLOTTE REINIGER (1899-1981)
Although born as our study of precinema winds down, Reiniger must be mentioned for her contribution in writing, producing and directing her highly entertaining and magical & animated films.
Lottes breakthrough was the development of animated films using a stop-frame technique that provided the illusion of animation by displaying 24 images per second. Her animation techniques included recording puppets operated by a hidden hand, inspired by the shadowplay.
Asian puppettheatre and Chinese shadowtheatre were certainly her sources of inspiration for ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ in 1926. Below, please watch this amazing film reconstructed in 1999 from a tinted nitrate copy obtained by the BFI. Runs 106:08 https://archive.org/embed/the.-adventures.-of.-prince.-achmed.-1926.720p.-blu-ray.x-264-public-hd
Each of Reiniger's shadow figures was painstakingly cut out by hand and wired together. As an early stopmotion animation, each joint was independently moved and shot. After the filming, the backgrounds were colour tinted.
Here from 1922 is the Lotte #Reiniger short ‘Das Geheimnis der Marquisin’, or, ‘The Marquisess's Secret’. It runs 2:36 https://archive.org/embed/silent-das-geheimnis-der-marquisin
Reiniger was an animator & artist producing a slew of animated films & shorts in her career. Reiniger is known for inventing the ‘Silhouette Animation’ technique. With 59 directorial credits, we direct you to IMDB for her many other accomplishments @ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0718201/?ref_=tt_cl_t1
Charlotte Reinigers animation used 1000s of images of paper cut-out silhouettes arranged to tell a plot, predating Walt Disney. ‘Prince Achmed’ alone took 3 years to produce. In the German tongue, Reinigers #animations became known as the 'Silhouetten'.
A close look at any of her work and we see how Reiniger's animation influenced other animators including Mary Blair. Blair came up with ideas for Disney classics like ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ’Sleeping Beauty’ & ’Peter Pan’.
Charlotte Reiniger was also an author. Read her ‘Shadow Puppets, Shadow Theatres, And Shadow Films’ published in 1975, and also part of my bibliography.
--Paul Burns PhD.
THE HISTORY OF THE DISCOVERY OF CINEMATOGRAPHY
An Illustrated Chronological History of the Development of Motion Pictures Leading to the Discovery of Cinematography in the 1800s
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